Conference realignment: Western Kentucky headed to C-USA, JMU to FBS likely

USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Belt has now lost five schools in the last year.

Western Kentucky will be leaving the Sun Belt Conference to join Conference USA, effective July 1, 2014, according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.

With Tulsa reportedly set to join the Big East, Western Kentucky will fill the void in Conference USA. Earlier this week, Western Kentucky denied reports that it would leave the Sun Belt, but it now becomes the fifth school to leave the Sun Belt in the last year, joining North Texas, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Middle Tennessee State, all of which landed in C-USA as well.

As reported by SB Nation on March 25, the Sun Belt announced the addition of FCS program Georgia Southern on March 27. The conference also plans to add Appalachian State and extended football-only invitations to Idaho and New Mexico State in hopes of expanding the conference to 12 football schools.

SB Nation also learned that in the event of another departure from the conference, Sun Belt officials had planned to offer a spot to James Madison Univeristy, which is expected to accept. The move would move James Madison up from the FCS to the FBS.

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